July 11th, 2012 at 7:22 AM ^

Eh....that's one guy just saying what everybody else has been saying. The only difference is that he happens to be a Conference Commissioner too


July 11th, 2012 at 7:40 AM ^

I like an 8 team playoff, but the line where he says that 8 makes more sense because it doubles the access points is ridiculous. In that case, let's set it at 128, because that multiplies the access points by 32!

The only question with a playoff should be how many teams could concievably be the best in the country at the end of the season. Two was too low, because there's not enough overlap in schedules, etc. Four is close. Might be enough, but there will always be one or two teams that might have a chance that don't make it. With eight, I think the *actual* best team would always be included. There's just too much drop off after the top tier teams for anyone after that to have a legitimate argument that they were #1.


July 11th, 2012 at 7:48 AM ^

Eight will happen eventually. I don't know that it will be for the best, but I think it might satisfy everyone in that an undefeated MWC team will probably be in the top eight and qualify. Top six or four? Not so much. They'll need to do something to prevent another trip to Congress or to federal court in the event that the first year's tourney feature three SEC teams and USC or something. (Yes, I didn't include Michigan, insert them for USC if it makes you happy).


July 11th, 2012 at 8:14 AM ^

Eight will happen eventually. I don't know that it will be for the best, but I think it might satisfy everyone in that an undefeated MWC team will probably be in the top eight and qualify. Top six or four? Not so much. They'll need to do something to prevent another trip to Congress or to federal court in the event that the first year's tourney feature three SEC teams and Michigan or something.

Leaders And Best

July 11th, 2012 at 8:44 AM ^

Look at the NFL playoffs (12 team playoff).  I think you can make the argument that the best team throughout the regular season almost never wins and that is even with a first round bye and home field advantage. NFL has more parity, but football is such a grind that the longer the playoff, the less likely the best team will win (depending on how you define best team).

If college football goes to an 8 team playoff and insists on neutral sites that will only be played in the Southeast and West coast, it will be even harder for the "best" team to win.

Section 1

July 11th, 2012 at 4:11 PM ^

Playoffs aren't designed to determine the best team. Playoffs are designed to determine a champion. 

The Rose Bowl, in combination with all of the other Bowls featuring conference champions, aren't intended to determine one best national team.  They just determine "bowl champions."

So what value, exactly, is added by a playoff system?

Section 1

July 11th, 2012 at 4:32 PM ^

"Rose Bowl Champion" could be "National Champion." 

Or, there could be some sort of playoff.  Wherein a Michigan team wins the B1G Championship in Indianapolis, then wins a Rose Bowl, then plays somebody like Clemson or Auburn in one or more playoff games in Florida... and loses.

This playoff bullshit is for the sportswriters and I'm not sure who else.

It certainly won't do me much particular good if Michigan's last four or five games in a "National Championship" season are all on the road. 


July 11th, 2012 at 8:29 AM ^

make the four top bowl games the de facto quaterfinals, chosen by a committee like the new system will have. It would take hardly any tweaking of the new system. The problem? IMO making some teams play 15 or 16 games is actually too much. Injury wise and exhaustion wise I agree with a lot of ex-players and current coaches that that is too many games. 


July 11th, 2012 at 8:41 AM ^

Here's the problem with that: Right now the championship game will be played "on the first Monday after six days after New Year's Day."  This means that the first championship game under this new format will be played January 12.  So going to eight under this idea means either:

- playing the bowl games around Christmastime - which sucks for everyone involved

- or playing the championship game on January 19

As for the latter, people pooh-pooh the idea that messing with the academic calendars is really an obstacle, but the people in charge are stlll gonna be reticent about it, that's just a fact.  Football is the big moneymaker and presidents don't want to be accused of raking in millions at the expense of academics.


July 11th, 2012 at 10:59 AM ^

Not only that, but do you really want to ask college football players to play up to 17 (!) games in a season?  This isn't D-II or III.  These guys are stronger and faster than players at that level and the injury rate is presumably higher.  By the title game, there would probably be a lot of starting players out.





July 11th, 2012 at 8:30 AM ^

We haven't even had a 4 team playoff yet! Jumping the gun a little are we, mr. Commissioner. We don't even know we'll like the playoff format (who am I kidding, of course we will)


July 11th, 2012 at 10:54 AM ^

I thought the 4 team playoff format was supposed to go through 2025, subject to revision if someone sees more dollars.

From my perspective, I hope the number of teams doesn't go to 8 - might live with 6, because of what it will do to conference play and championship games.  The NCAA hoops tournament has largely negated my interest in conference championships. I also cannot imagine a single scenario where the number 8 team is a legitimate contender for the national championship.

Logistically, can anyone see the NFL being willing to cut back their December Saturday games to accomodate college football, because I can't.



Leaders And Best

July 11th, 2012 at 8:53 AM ^

but I think this is wishful thinking on the part of the MWC in terms of the timeframe.  I think a lot of people will fight an 8 team playoff for various reasons like the damage it will do to the bowl system, academic calendar, and impact on the regular season. An 8 team playoff will essentially kill the mid tier bowls.

I like an 8 team playoff because I think it makes selection easier if you include 5 autobids for the 5 major conference champions and would be exciting to see all the conferences competing against each other.

Leaders And Best

July 11th, 2012 at 9:06 AM ^

Money is not the reason we have a playoff right now.  And a larger playoff could have a dramatic impact on the regular season which is the real cash cow for each individual conference and their rights deals. A playoff rights deal has to be split by all the conferences, but the individual rights deal for the regular season is the bread and butter.  This the reason why college footbal dwarfs college basketball.

Leaders And Best

July 11th, 2012 at 9:22 AM ^

It's easy to say that now, and it is hard to predict, but it will have an impact on ratings and attendance. The larger the playoff the less impact the regular season has. A game like the two undefeated MIchigan and OSU squads in 2006 would be rendered meaningless. Last year's SEC Championship game would be even more of a farce. I'm sure there a lot more examples, but final week games for top 5 teams will not be as important.  If you lock up your division title early, do you shut down the rest of the regular season?

Any impact on the regular season ratings will affect the the rights deals the conferences can negotiate and that is the cash cow. The playoff is just icing on the cake for conferences.


July 11th, 2012 at 9:28 AM ^

Having a larger number of teams playing games during the regular season that have playoff implications should equal better overall ratings and better attendance, not worse.  For every 2006 Michigan-OSU that you name, I can name multiple instances of games that would have mattered much, much more had there been a playoff in place.  Imagine having a dozen or more teams still playing for a shot at the title during the last few weeks of the regular season.  Ratings and attendance will not be an issue.

Leaders And Best

July 11th, 2012 at 9:35 AM ^

The Conference Championship games would gain a lot more importance.  But for as many games that would gain in importance, there would be just as many that could be devalued.

Do you really feel a season ending rivalry games like Michigan-OSU, Florida-FSU, Georgia-Ga Tech, Clemson-S. Carolina will have anywhere near the same meaning? If you have your division locked up, the only thing that will matter is winning the conference championship game. Losses in those games would not knock you out of the playoff. But losing the conference championship game probably would.


July 11th, 2012 at 9:47 AM ^

True.  My bad.  I was thinking playoff vs. current system when I wrote that.  

I don't really feel like taking the time to dig up the large number of games that would have had playoff/championship implications over the last few years if we had an eight team playoff.  You do agree those games exist, though, right?

Leaders And Best

July 11th, 2012 at 9:42 AM ^

What is there to be gained? Both teams would almost be assured of a spot in an 8 team playoff. And if they weren't the only game that would matter would be the conference championship game which would provide even more motivation to mail in the season ending game.

And to your orignial point, ESPN never ran countdown clocks for Yankees-Red Sox games or coverage for a single game that spanned about 2 weeks.


July 11th, 2012 at 9:55 AM ^

As far as mailing it in for the CCG, it would take a pretty specific situation where both teams were in a position to do that for it to even be a possibility in the first place.  It's also possible for one or both teams to be ranked highly enough where winning the final regular season game could make them a playoff lock regardless of CCG outcome.

I'm not going to base what I believe will be best for college football as a whole on what may be best for Michigan and Ohio State.  Regardless, I don't believe a four team playoff is better than an eight team playoff for Michigan-OSU.  I would like the possibility to at least exist for them to actually play each other in a playoff game sometime before I die.  That consideration is so far down the list, though, that it's not even worth discussing.

Leaders And Best

July 11th, 2012 at 12:17 PM ^

Emotional edge and momentum can sometimes be greater after a loss especially if you are in the playoff as coaches can often use a loss to refocus a team. How did emotional edge and momentum affect LSU and Alabama last year? How did it affect Kentucky basketball after losing their last game before entering the NCAA tourney? I think momentum between games is overrated as a concept. I think both of these points have a small impact in the big picture.

Playoff seeding is fairly irrelevant without byes and home field advantage. If you are playing a neutral site game and there are no byes, how much does a seed really matter with the 8 best teams? Is there a huge difference between the #3 seed and the #6 seed? Was there any significant difference between Okla St, Stanford, Oregon, Arkansas, & Wisconsin last year? Teams play for seed primarily for home field advantage and byes in the NFL.

Risk of injury definitely favors resting players for a game. There is a reason they do this in the NFL. Football is a grind and having players rest for a week can be crucial to healing injuries and minor nicks heading into a playoff or conference championship game.

Respect between rivals is more important to the fans than the players. Winning a championship and making a playoff means a lot more to the players than winning a rivalry game. No one truly knows how a rivalry game will be impacted in this new system (my prediction is they will be devalued like they have in other sports with larger playoffs). I'm trying to imagine how much I would care if Michigan lost the Game if we ended up winning the Big Ten Champ game and a playoff or the reverse. Would it be like how LSU and Alabama fans feel after how last season played out?


July 11th, 2012 at 9:20 AM ^

With 2 teams, if you had a 12-0 season, you were almost guaranteed a spot in the championship game and at 11-1 it was a crapshoot.

With 4 teams, winning all your games basically guarantees your spot. 11-1 teams that play tough schedules are also pretty much guaranteed in. 10-2 would require a miracle and a hell of a schedule to get in.

With 8 teams, 11 wins and up are pretty much guaranteed in. 10-2 is borderline.

Right now, every game still matters. Losing a game doesn't guarantee you a spot in the playoff unless everyone around you loses too. If you go to 8 games, a loss still means that you are in. 2 losses might still mean that you are in. Upsets aren't really upsets anymore because you still have a shot at the national title. Big games between two teams mean very little aside from seeding. It affects a lot.


July 11th, 2012 at 9:27 AM ^

Right now, when you get toward the end of the season, every game still matters for a select few when it comes to a shot at the national championship.  Sure, if you go to eight teams, a loss could still mean you're in.  What if you lose early in the season, though.  Now that loss has put your team in a position where every game matters because of a playoff.


July 11th, 2012 at 8:55 AM ^

Both teams that he mentions (Utah and TCU) are in one of the big 4 conferences now. BSU is the only other mid-major to perennially take a shot at the title. I think they've made enough headway for themselves that if they have a 12-0 season, they will get selected. I don't see any need, at this point, to add more games to accomodate that. You'd have to have another 2-3 mid-majors get snubbed to even be in talks of that. I think the committee will be smart enough to include a 12-0 mid-major, knowing that they will probably get Hawaii'd in one of their two games.


July 11th, 2012 at 9:48 AM ^

With 8 teams you are almost 100% guaranteed to have the top team in the playoff.  With 4 teams, what are those odds?  90%?  Maybe eve 85?  Wouldn't it be nice to guarantee that the top team in the country is always in the playoff?

4 teams is only enough if you actually buy into the BS that the polls are an accurate reflection of reality. 


July 11th, 2012 at 10:17 AM ^

Well, let's say that they take the top 4 ranked teams. What are the chances that the best team in the country is rated #5 or lower? I'd say it's less than 10%. I think most years it's more like 2%. I mean, look at this past year. The only 3 teams that should have been locks were LSU, Bama, and OSU. #4 was Stanford. #5 was Oregon. #6 was Arkansas. #7 was BSU. I think any of those teams would be lucky to be included in the playoff. Of course, there was 2007 where no one looked like they should be included. 

Considering that they have a selection committee, if a school has a legitimate claim to being the #1 team in the country, they will be given a shot, even if they are ranked #5 or #6. Really, though, when was the last time that you could claim that a school ranked lower than #5 or #6 was anywhere close to being considered the best team in the country?


July 11th, 2012 at 11:21 AM ^

I've been for eight all along.  If enough conferences have championship games, and champions only are allowed, it becomes a de facto playoff of between twelve and sixteen teams.  

The idea from the oversight committee that four teams "protects the integrity of the regular season and protects the bowl system" is half right: guess which half.  Hint: think free trips to five star hotels and golf outings at exclusive courses for the presidents.  

Perkis-Size Me

July 11th, 2012 at 11:24 AM ^

I would certainly welcome an 8-team playoff, but after that, where is the line drawn? If you get an 8 team playoff, the 9 and 10 teams will bitch that they were deserving. If you get a 16 team playoff, the 17 and 18s will bitch, and so on.

Also, at some point, you have to think about the players themselves. Of course, more football is what all the fans want. Its what the schools want, but is it what the players want? More football means more cutting into their school schedule.


July 11th, 2012 at 11:38 AM ^

I'll believe it when one of the major players (a Big Five commissioner or the Notre Dame A.D.) says that he sees it going to eight teams. Obviously the MWC commissioner wants eight: he needs a system with more access; the other players don't.

I would certainly be very surprised if it happened before the end of the 12-year deal they have just agreed to. College football is a very slowly evolving sport: the BCS lasted 15 years, even though its flaws were long ago apparent. I remember having this conversation in a Michigan dorm room in about 1980, and look how long it took us to get to even the most minimal sort of playoff.

I do believe that an 8-team playoff is the correct permanent number, but there will be stiff resistance to it. The addition of the 12th regular-season game and conference championship games has narrowed rather severely the time frame in which an extra game could be played. The players do have finals, after all, and I'm not sure they'd all want to sacrifice Christmas on the altar of an extra game.

Mr. Yost

July 11th, 2012 at 11:47 AM ^

I just want to make the college football post-season have some type of formula that is "fair" for everyone and that everyone understands.

#1 - Have 100 teams, 50 of which can go to bowls at the end of the year

#2 - Have the BCS or Major 6 Bowls like you have them now...a 4-team playoff (3 bowls) and then the other 3 bowls would consist of the 5/6 game, 7/8 game, 9/10 game. Rotate the 3 playoff games with the 3 non-playoff games evenly amongst the 6 bowls.

#3 - The next 40 teams go to bowls (20 bowls)

Here is where it gets different...rank the 20 bowls based on the money they've made over the past 5 years (it's all about money, right?). Then have a predetermined payout based on those rankings. ex. Bowl #1 gets 8% of the total bowl revenue, Bowl #2 gets 7.9%, and so the end of the bowl season, pool all of the money together and pay it out accordingly.

How do you select which team goes where? You don't. You basically have a draft (this would be awesome). #11 Arkansas picks Bowl #2 (the old Cotton Bowl), it's slightly less money payout...but they'll save on travel costs rather than going to Bowl #1 (Capital One Bowl). #12 Oklahoma St. decides to play Arkansas in the old Cotton Bowl.

Then just go down the line...from #11 to #50, each team picking the bowl they want to play in. No conference affiliations, just in order of the final rankings. Maybe a team skips on a higher ranked bowl because of travel, maybe they aren't eligible to pick a bowl because they've played that school or it's a conference team? Do you go away to Hawaii or do you stay close to home? Out of conference storylines....mid-majors being able to pick bowls based on their final ranking. All of that would matter. Teams fighting to be #50 and make the post-season like basketball. It would be awesome to watch shake out!


July 11th, 2012 at 12:29 PM ^

Would be interesting....but the bowls would never allow it, and I imagine the NCAA wouldn't either. What if Toledo finishes with a 10-2 record and gets to pick right before a 7-5 Nebraska team and the opponent is a 9-3 Auburn? Bowls would be praying that Toledo would pass on them so that they could get the Huskers  vs Tigers - which is a bigger attendance and TV draw. Auburn would be praying that the Rockets wouldn't pick them so they'd have a bigger matchup with the Huskers. So the Tigers, who had the better season and got to pick before the other teams, gets screwed in terms of finances because Toledo got to pick before traditional power Nebraska. The value of each bowl would shuffle every year as well.